When the daily news seems overflowing with human challenge and tragedy, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless, especially when global disasters have such a huge physical and human toll, and the ripple effect of even far away social injustices can enter our own neighbourhoods.
How can we continue to believe in a brighter future amidst so much pain and suffering? And what part can we play in cultivating a positive impact for ourselves and those around us?
Here are some tips that might help us to stay hopeful and make a positive contribution within our own communities:
Limit consumption of media
While the media aims to inform us, it also aims to alarm us, and if we spend too much time consuming the tragedy of world events through all the sources that are in our hands and homes, this can help create a perception that our world is overwhelmingly negative.
While it's essential to stay informed, overconsumption can lead to anxiety and hopelessness.
Designate specific times to catch up on news, and avoid the urge to continuously refresh your news apps or social media. Fill the other times with uplifting content, books, or hobbies that nurture your wellbeing.
Seek out stories of resilience and positive change
While it's important to stay informed about the world's issues, it's equally vital to balance the distressing news with stories of resilience, hope, and positive impact.
Look for stories of people, organizations, or communities that have overcome adversity or are working towards solutions to challenging issues.
When we can see the progress being made, we're reminded that change is possible, and it renews our hope.
Focus on doing good locally
While we may not be able to take direct action to impact global crises, we can always make a significant and positive impact in our own community.
Volunteering for a local organization, or donating to a charity that is meaningful to you, or simply lending a helping hand to a neighbour in need helps bring our heart into hope and alignment.
When we witness the positive effects of our actions on a smaller scale, it reaffirms our ability to create change and take positive action.
Maintain self-care practices and rituals
When we feel overwhelm and hopeless toward large scale tragic events, it's easy to lapse from our physical and emotional self-care routines.
This is the time when it's even more essential to take care of yourself, mentally and physically, to stay hopeful and feel capable and effective in your efforts.
Find activities that bring you joy and peace, whether it's meditation, art, or spending time with loved ones, and make them habits or even better, rituals.
When you're looking after yourself you can maintain a more positive state of mind, and you're better able to contribute to the wellbeing of your community and the world.
Connect with your tribe
When we connect with those we love and who love us it can feel like nourishing food for the soul.
Reach out to friends and family and carve out time to be together just sharing a simple meal or time outdoors in the fresh air. This can strengthen our feelings of hope in humanity and help us feel supported and motivated, enhancing our sense of belonging during difficult times.
Surrounding yourself with individuals who share your vision and who are loving and supportive can be invigorating.
Finally, no matter what state your community or the world is in, take a few moments every day to consider what you are grateful for. Gratitude shifts our focus from what we lack or fear to what we possess and cherish. Over time, this practice can significantly improve mental health, and provide a perspective that showcases the good in the world.
Remember, it's natural to feel overwhelmed and sometimes weighed down by the state of the world, and it's also within your power to make a difference. It's vital to remember that hope isn't just a feeling—it's a choice and an action. By channeling our energies towards positive endeavors and connecting with our communities, we can reaffirm our belief in humanity and help pave the way for a brighter, more hopeful future.
Until next time,
The PLS team